The best school district in every state

Published 6:00 am Thursday, October 21, 2021

MaxyM // Shutterstock

The best school district in every state

Between parental politics, after-school programs, and PTA meetings, navigating school districts can be hard—and choosing the district that is best for your child is even harder.

Stacker analyzed 2021 data from Niche to calculate the best school district in every state. Niche rankings rely on statistics from the U.S. Department of Education, SAT/ACT scores, college readiness, teacher quality, and graduation rates. Of course, ratings are one thing and experiences another—which is why it’s always smart to do your research and learn about the families, teachers, and students in a given district before basing something as important as a move on a particular school.

Various districts prioritize funding for different programs, and some have more of a knack for hiring and retaining nurturing teachers. For some districts, it seems to be a numbers game without any thought regarding the learning environment. Still other districts encourage kids to explore passions and make friends but are lagging academically. A top school district isn’t just one or the other; it’s a combination of factors parents must weigh when considering a new district.

Keep reading to see how your district stacks up, or to help narrow your search for where you plan to move and raise a family.

You may also like: Highest-paying jobs that require a bachelor’s degree

A3pfamily // Shutterstock

Alabama: Madison City Schools

– Location: Madison, AL
– Students: 11,290
– Student to teacher ratio: 18:1
– Reading proficient: 74%
– Math proficient: 76%
– Graduation rate: 96%
– Expenditure per student: $10,075
– Average teacher salary: $56,964

Vilmos Varga // Shutterstock

Alaska: Skagway School District

– Location: Skagway, AK
– Students: 141
– Student to teacher ratio: 10:1
– Reading proficient: 87%
– Math proficient: 82%
– Graduation rate: data unavailable
– Expenditure per student: $27,098
– Average teacher salary: data unavailable

JulieTFarbarik // Wikimedia Commons

Arizona: Catalina Foothills Unified School District

– Location: Tucson, AZ
– Students: 5,427
– Student to teacher ratio: 19:1
– Reading proficient: 70%
– Math proficient: 69%
– Graduation rate: 98%
– Expenditure per student: $9,023
– Average teacher salary: $45,311

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

Arkansas: Haas Hall Academy

– Location: Fayetteville, AR
– Students: 941
– Student to teacher ratio: 16:1
– Reading proficient: 91%
– Math proficient: 90%
– Graduation rate: 95%
– Expenditure per student: $8,247
– Average teacher salary: $19,430

Mike24 // Wikimedia Commons

California: Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District

– Location: Los Gatos, CA
– Students: 3,520
– Student to teacher ratio: 22:1
– Reading proficient: 84%
– Math proficient: 74%
– Graduation rate: 97%
– Expenditure per student: $22,373
– Average teacher salary: $109,507

You may also like: The best streaming services in 2021

teofilo // Wikimedia Commons

Colorado: Cheyenne Mountain School District No. 12

– Location: Colorado Springs, CO
– Students: 5,274
– Student to teacher ratio: 15:1
– Reading proficient: 69%
– Math proficient: 62%
– Graduation rate: 95%
– Expenditure per student: $12,794
– Average teacher salary: $49,119

WestportWiki // Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut: Westport School District

– Location: Westport, CT
– Students: 5,509
– Student to teacher ratio: 11:1
– Reading proficient: 85%
– Math proficient: 81%
– Graduation rate: 99%
– Expenditure per student: $24,436
– Average teacher salary: $78,283

LStockStudio // Shutterstock

Delaware: Cape Henlopen School District

– Location: Lewes, DE
– Students: 5,643
– Student to teacher ratio: 13:1
– Reading proficient: 63%
– Math proficient: 54%
– Graduation rate: 87%
– Expenditure per student: $27,295
– Average teacher salary: $54,163

Michael Rivera // Wikimedia Commons

Florida: St. Johns County School District

– Location: St Augustine, FL
– Students: 41,897
– Student to teacher ratio: 18:1
– Reading proficient: 74%
– Math proficient: 79%
– Graduation rate: 93%
– Expenditure per student: $10,614
– Average teacher salary: $40,715

Thomson200 // Wikimedia Commons

Georgia: Buford City Schools

– Location: Buford, GA
– Students: 4,966
– Student to teacher ratio: 12:1
– Reading proficient: 65%
– Math proficient: 75%
– Graduation rate: 93%
– Expenditure per student: $14,134
– Average teacher salary: $62,865

You may also like: Metros with the most highly ranked public high schools

Joel Bradshaw // Wikimedia Commons

Hawaii: Hawaii Department of Education

– Location: Honolulu, HI
– Students: 181,278
– Student to teacher ratio: 15:1
– Reading proficient: 54%
– Math proficient: 42%
– Graduation rate: 84%
– Expenditure per student: $15,305
– Average teacher salary: $64,871

LStockStudio // Shutterstock

Idaho: McCall-Donnelly School District

– Location: Mccall, ID
– Students: 1,285
– Student to teacher ratio: 16:1
– Reading proficient: 76%
– Math proficient: 64%
– Graduation rate: 92%
– Expenditure per student: $12,644
– Average teacher salary: $63,957

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

Illinois: Adlai E. Stevenson High School District No. 125

– Location: Lincolnshire, IL
– Students: 4,265
– Student to teacher ratio: 15:1
– Reading proficient: 77%
– Math proficient: 78%
– Graduation rate: 96%
– Expenditure per student: $27,205
– Average teacher salary: $93,403

Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

Indiana: West Lafayette Community School Corporation

– Location: West Lafayette, IN
– Students: 2,411
– Student to teacher ratio: 17:1
– Reading proficient: 84%
– Math proficient: 80%
– Graduation rate: 95%
– Expenditure per student: data unavailable
– Average teacher salary: data unavailable

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

Iowa: Pleasant Valley Community School District

– Location: Bettendorf, IA
– Students: 5,084
– Student to teacher ratio: 16:1
– Reading proficient: 90%
– Math proficient: 93%
– Graduation rate: 98%
– Expenditure per student: $12,790
– Average teacher salary: $62,711

You may also like: The biggest high school in every state

Axarchy // Wikimedia Commons

Kansas: Blue Valley Unified School District (Overland Park)

– Location: Overland Park, KS
– Students: 22,783
– Student to teacher ratio: 14:1
– Reading proficient: 63%
– Math proficient: 57%
– Graduation rate: 97%
– Expenditure per student: $12,597
– Average teacher salary: $52,026

David Prahl // Shutterstock

Kentucky: Fort Thomas Independent Schools

– Location: Fort Thomas, KY
– Students: 3,129
– Student to teacher ratio: 17:1
– Reading proficient: 79%
– Math proficient: 76%
– Graduation rate: 96%
– Expenditure per student: $13,947
– Average teacher salary: $61,062

kite studio // Shutterstock

Louisiana: Zachary Community Public Schools

– Location: Zachary, LA
– Students: 5,551
– Student to teacher ratio: 18:1
– Reading proficient: 84%
– Math proficient: 83%
– Graduation rate: 93%
– Expenditure per student: $11,024
– Average teacher salary: $63,115

Pat Shrader // Shutterstock

Maine: Yarmouth Schools

– Location: Yarmouth, ME
– Students: 1,652
– Student to teacher ratio: 13:1
– Reading proficient: 77%
– Math proficient: 70%
– Graduation rate: 95%
– Expenditure per student: $15,532
– Average teacher salary: $76,051

Wallstreethotrod // Wikimedia Commons

Maryland: Howard County Public Schools

– Location: Ellicott City, MD
– Students: 57,907
– Student to teacher ratio: 13:1
– Reading proficient: 55%
– Math proficient: 59%
– Graduation rate: 92%
– Expenditure per student: $17,691
– Average teacher salary: $75,357

You may also like: The best school district in every state

Oksana Kuzmina // Shutterstock

Massachusetts: Hopkinton Public Schools

– Location: Hopkinton, MA
– Students: 3,685
– Student to teacher ratio: 14:1
– Reading proficient: 81%
– Math proficient: 80%
– Graduation rate: 98%
– Expenditure per student: $21,205
– Average teacher salary: $90,157

transly // Wikimedia Commons

Michigan: Novi Community School District

– Location: Novi, MI
– Students: 6,694
– Student to teacher ratio: 16:1
– Reading proficient: 58%
– Math proficient: 65%
– Graduation rate: 95%
– Expenditure per student: $15,743
– Average teacher salary: $64,153

Christopher Boswell // Shutterstock

Minnesota: Minnetonka Public School District

– Location: Minnetonka, MN
– Students: 10,970
– Student to teacher ratio: 16:1
– Reading proficient: 82%
– Math proficient: 81%
– Graduation rate: 97%
– Expenditure per student: data unavailable
– Average teacher salary: $70,887

smolaw // Shutterstock

Mississippi: Petal School District

– Location: Petal, MS
– Students: 4,137
– Student to teacher ratio: 15:1
– Reading proficient: 62%
– Math proficient: 74%
– Graduation rate: 88%
– Expenditure per student: $9,121
– Average teacher salary: $45,799

Prostock-studio // Shutterstock

Missouri: School District of Clayton

– Location: Clayton, MO
– Students: 2,644
– Student to teacher ratio: 11:1
– Reading proficient: 74%
– Math proficient: 74%
– Graduation rate: 99%
– Expenditure per student: $24,173
– Average teacher salary: $87,936

You may also like: The best streaming services for sports in 2021

Henryk Sadura // Shutterstock

Montana: Hobson Public Schools

– Location: Hobson, MT
– Students: 117
– Student to teacher ratio: 8:1
– Reading proficient: 65%
– Math proficient: 45%
– Graduation rate: data unavailable
– Expenditure per student: $20,536
– Average teacher salary: $47,034

Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

Nebraska: Elkhorn Public Schools

– Location: Elkhorn, NE
– Students: 9,857
– Student to teacher ratio: 16:1
– Reading proficient: 81%
– Math proficient: 82%
– Graduation rate: 98%
– Expenditure per student: $12,789
– Average teacher salary: $52,076

Syda Productions // Shutterstock

Nevada: Eureka County School District

– Location: Eureka, NV
– Students: 321
– Student to teacher ratio: 5:1
– Reading proficient: 67%
– Math proficient: 42%
– Graduation rate: data unavailable
– Expenditure per student: $31,373
– Average teacher salary: $86,955

lonndubh // Shutterstock

New Hampshire: SAU 70

– Location: Hanover, NH
– Students: 1,125
– Student to teacher ratio: 11:1
– Reading proficient: 85%
– Math proficient: 76%
– Graduation rate: 95%
– Expenditure per student: $26,401
– Average teacher salary: $97,402

Henry Gray // Wikimedia Commons

New Jersey: Princeton Public Schools

– Location: Princeton, NJ
– Students: 3,809
– Student to teacher ratio: 11:1
– Reading proficient: 78%
– Math proficient: 65%
– Graduation rate: 96%
– Expenditure per student: $25,217
– Average teacher salary: $80,903

You may also like: States with the most and least student debt

C4dickson // Wikimedia Commons

New Mexico: Los Alamos Public Schools

– Location: Los Alamos, NM
– Students: 3,749
– Student to teacher ratio: 15:1
– Reading proficient: 57%
– Math proficient: 49%
– Graduation rate: 89%
– Expenditure per student: $12,679
– Average teacher salary: $53,559

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

New York: Jericho Union Free School District

– Location: Jericho, NY
– Students: 3,075
– Student to teacher ratio: 9:1
– Reading proficient: 88%
– Math proficient: 91%
– Graduation rate: 98%
– Expenditure per student: $36,392
– Average teacher salary: $131,477

Unknown // Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina: Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools

– Location: Chapel Hill, NC
– Students: 12,422
– Student to teacher ratio: 14:1
– Reading proficient: 67%
– Math proficient: 59%
– Graduation rate: 90%
– Expenditure per student: $13,086
– Average teacher salary: $45,683

Rido // Shutterstock

North Dakota: Edmore School District No. 2

– Location: Edmore, ND
– Students: 50
– Student to teacher ratio: 4:1
– Reading proficient: 75%
– Math proficient: 65%
– Graduation rate: data unavailable
– Expenditure per student: $28,918
– Average teacher salary: $39,357

LightField Studios // Shutterstock

Ohio: Indian Hill Exempted Village School District

– Location: Cincinnati, OH
– Students: 2,037
– Student to teacher ratio: 13:1
– Reading proficient: 92%
– Math proficient: 92%
– Graduation rate: 95%
– Expenditure per student: $19,658
– Average teacher salary: $78,941

You may also like: Best public high school in every state

Rido // Shutterstock

Oklahoma: Jenks Public Schools

– Location: Jenks, OK
– Students: 12,465
– Student to teacher ratio: 17:1
– Reading proficient: 44%
– Math proficient: 42%
– Graduation rate: 89%
– Expenditure per student: $9,864
– Average teacher salary: $40,194

Bentoman // Wikimedia Commons

Oregon: Lake Oswego School District

– Location: Lake Oswego, OR
– Students: 7,066
– Student to teacher ratio: 20:1
– Reading proficient: 85%
– Math proficient: 75%
– Graduation rate: 93%
– Expenditure per student: $11,810
– Average teacher salary: $63,837

Syda Productions // Shutterstock

Pennsylvania: Radnor Township School District

– Location: Wayne, PA
– Students: 3,682
– Student to teacher ratio: 13:1
– Reading proficient: 89%
– Math proficient: 79%
– Graduation rate: 98%
– Expenditure per student: $23,994
– Average teacher salary: $95,865

0xF8E8 // Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island: Barrington Public Schools

– Location: Barrington, RI
– Students: 3,343
– Student to teacher ratio: 14:1
– Reading proficient: 71%
– Math proficient: 63%
– Graduation rate: 97%
– Expenditure per student: $15,529
– Average teacher salary: $87,640

wavebreakmedia // Shutterstock

South Carolina: Fort Mill School District

– Location: Fort Mill, SC
– Students: 16,081
– Student to teacher ratio: 15:1
– Reading proficient: 68%
– Math proficient: 73%
– Graduation rate: 94%
– Expenditure per student: $15,825
– Average teacher salary: $53,305

You may also like: The best streaming services for football in 2021

Lincoln Beddoe // Shutterstock

South Dakota: Brandon Valley School District

– Location: Brandon, SD
– Students: 4,284
– Student to teacher ratio: 18:1
– Reading proficient: 75%
– Math proficient: 68%
– Graduation rate: 96%
– Expenditure per student: $9,699
– Average teacher salary: $49,540

Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

Tennessee: Collierville Schools

– Location: Collierville, TN
– Students: 9,096
– Student to teacher ratio: 16:1
– Reading proficient: 60%
– Math proficient: 60%
– Graduation rate: 95%
– Expenditure per student: $15,810
– Average teacher salary: $54,202

Larry D. Moore // Wikimedia Commons

Texas: Eanes Independent School District

– Location: Austin, TX
– Students: 8,132
– Student to teacher ratio: 14:1
– Reading proficient: 80%
– Math proficient: 81%
– Graduation rate: 98%
– Expenditure per student: $24,109
– Average teacher salary: $51,587

Yuganov Konstantin // Shutterstock

Utah: Northern Utah Academy for Math Engineering & Science (Nuames)

– Location: Layton, UT
– Students: 875
– Student to teacher ratio: 22:1
– Reading proficient: 74%
– Math proficient: 72%
– Graduation rate: 95%
– Expenditure per student: $6,834
– Average teacher salary: $34,263

David Prahl // Shutterstock

Vermont: South Burlington School District

– Location: South Burlington, VT
– Students: 2,759
– Student to teacher ratio: 13:1
– Reading proficient: 71%
– Math proficient: 59%
– Graduation rate: 91%
– Expenditure per student: $22,235
– Average teacher salary: $79,969

You may also like: Highest-paying management jobs

Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

Virginia: Falls Church City Public Schools

– Location: Falls Church, VA
– Students: 2,620
– Student to teacher ratio: 14:1
– Reading proficient: 92%
– Math proficient: 82%
– Graduation rate: 97%
– Expenditure per student: data unavailable
– Average teacher salary: $95,479

Architectsea // Wikimedia Commons

Washington: Mercer Island School District

– Location: Mercer Island, WA
– Students: 4,522
– Student to teacher ratio: 18:1
– Reading proficient: 87%
– Math proficient: 83%
– Graduation rate: 96%
– Expenditure per student: $15,721
– Average teacher salary: $73,066

Rido // Shutterstock

West Virginia: Monongalia County Schools

– Location: Morgantown, WV
– Students: 11,679
– Student to teacher ratio: 15:1
– Reading proficient: 54%
– Math proficient: 50%
– Graduation rate: 90%
– Expenditure per student: $13,372
– Average teacher salary: $51,077

hxdbzxy // Shutterstock

Wisconsin: Elmbrook School District

– Location: Brookfield, WI
– Students: 7,334
– Student to teacher ratio: 15:1
– Reading proficient: 63%
– Math proficient: 68%
– Graduation rate: 96%
– Expenditure per student: $14,092
– Average teacher salary: $80,756

Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

Wyoming: Sheridan County School District No. 2

– Location: Sheridan, WY
– Students: 3,532
– Student to teacher ratio: 14:1
– Reading proficient: 75%
– Math proficient: 72%
– Graduation rate: 89%
– Expenditure per student: $15,520
– Average teacher salary: $69,785

You may also like: 100 highest-paying jobs in America